Of Arsons and Artists

My sweet, snot-nosed little humans. I love them dearly, I really do.

Our morning went well. I’ve been trying to encourage “controlled creativity” and give them ample opportunities for discovering the world and their abilities to contribute to it. Currently this is happening in the forms of Play Dough, coins, crayons and cut paper manifesting and reinventing itself throughout our main living space.

I was feeling pretty proud of how busy they stayed and played. Until it was time to start cleaning up.

Somehow between the concept of cleaning and my needing to nurse and rock the baby, my two little artists disappeared down the hall and into one of the bedrooms, transforming themselves into the baby wipe arsons.

I’ve seen one kid happy with a pile of plucked wipes from one package. It’s exponentially more exciting, however, when there are two kids with three plucked packages.

I’m not a dummy, I knew what they were most likely doing. At the moment, getting a fussy baby to sleep was more important. So I walked in and explained we were going to get a garbage bag and put allll the wipes in the bag. And we talked about the concept of “wasting” things when they are misused. And we continued about our day.

But gosh, what is it about wipes and Kleenex and toilet paper? Is it the never-ending-ness that they find mesmerizing? I’m tempted to take a package of wipes for myself and pluck and toss to my heart’s content. Maybe that is the real secret to the fountain of youth, who knows. (Or a symptom of insanity?)

And wipes aren’t worth losing our crap over. (Pun intended.) Neither are the majority of messes caused by granola bars or stickers or markers. In these early years, they’re learning how to function responsibly in a world with rules and order. Teach them how to clean, teach them to be responsible. Yell when there’s a car coming, not when there are crumbs on the floor.

And may we, as adults, choose to be artists and not arsons with whatever we’re given today.


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